The Tropics come to Morecambe - what the Eden Project North will mean to the town

The news that the Eden Project North in Morecambe is to get £50 million of government 'levelling up' cash is being welcomed as a massive shot in the arm for the Lancashire town.

Years in the planning and at a cost of £125 million the regeneration scheme now looks set to be a reality. Announcing the funds this morning prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he hopes to 'build a future of optimism' with 2 billion pounds being pledged across the UK

But how big an impact is it likely to have - and who will benefit?

The Eden Project Credit: Eden Project

Its a development of The Eden Project in Cornwall which was constructed in a disused clay pit more than 20 years ago. It is now a successful tourist attraction showcasing plant life and measures to preserve the environment.

Local backers hope that the same magic can be worked in Morecambe.

They say that the scheme could generate 300 jobs in the town with a thousand more in the wider area.

Developers and the council have said that say the £50 million investment would be half the estimated cost of the ambitious project, and the projected 740,000 visitors would bring cash that would exceed the funding. It could inject £200 million annually into the North West economy - potentially opening as early as 2024.

Supporters say that Morecambe will be transformed by the Eden Project North Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/PA Images

Speaking last summer Councillor Caroline Jackson, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “Eden Project North provides an outstanding opportunity to reinvent Morecambe for the 21st century.

"Simply put, it will transform the local economy and have a transformative effect not just on Morecambe but the whole region.”

Futuristic domes will house displays exploring the unique ecology of the bay Credit: Eden Project

Covering 200,000 square feet of the town's waterfront the Eden Project North will be a ticketed visitor attraction with large indoor environments, housed within iconic pavilions. It will build on the Eden Project in Cornwall’s mix of entertainment and education.

Eden Project North’s “shell like” domes will be constructed in timber and covered in a flexible transparent membrane with integrated solar cells.

These four shells  – known as the Rhythm Machine, the Bay Glade, the Bay Hall and the Natural Observatory – are set in a “dunescape” of landscaped roofing planted with coastal vegetation.

Surrounding the buildings will be a collection of outdoor gardens, designed to reflect the unique coastal environment.

The Eden Project North will aim to introduce the beauty of Morecambe Bay to new generation Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/PA Images

Speaking a year ago David Harland, Chief Executive of the Eden Project said: "We are going to tell the story this vitally important coastal area, with every migrating bird coming in. It is incredibly important that we help people understand what is on their doorstep so they understand we are a part of nature and not apart from it".

Morecambe Bay is famed for its galloping tides, its marine life and its natural beauty. But the coastal town has serious deprivation too, and those behind the Eden Project in Cornwall say it's a golden ticket to transform the area.

Experts say investment in conservation is long over due. Morecambe Bay  attracts more than two hundred thousand migrating birds from across the globe. 

Barry Cooper, a former RSPB advisor has said: "This is one of the most important sites for migrating birds in Northern Europe. I hope the Eden Project will communicate these kind of messages and raise awareness that we actually have something to be really proud of here."

Multi million pound bid for cash to build Eden North in Morecambe

Eden Project in Morecambe given go-ahead by councillors

What it could mean for Morecambe - a look at the Eden Project in Cornwall